Chapter 19: Shadow's Waiting
Nynaeve heads in to take care of Moiraine, with a nice bit where she reiterates that she doesnít trust her, but she helps anyone who needs it. This leaves Rand, Mat, and Perrin alone, and Mat convinces them that Moiraine said Trollocs canít come in here, so they should just look around. Without telling anyone, so Iím already wincing. Itís pretty eerie with Rand constantly thinking of the people who used to live here. Iíve been to Pompeii, and you get that feeling all the time, so itís much appreciated.
Unfortunately, they run into a guy named Mordeth, whoís just slightly less obvious a bad guy than the Senses Taker
as he tells them about the treasure in a deep, dark place that he needs help carrying. And Mat completely falls for it, with the others forced to go after him Leeroy Jenkins style. Itís official, heís The Millstone
Once they get to the treasure room, Rand notices that Mordeth doesnít have a shadow, forcing his hand as he goes through a One-Winged Angel
. And then just leaves by turning into smoke, which from the description I guess is because he saw Randís sword. And Mat is still insisting they take some of the treasure. Look, go to hell.
They get back, and naturally everyone is pretty darn pissed off. Moiraine gives more backstory, that Mordeth was an Evil Chancellor
who drove the city to evil until everyone killed themselves ďLet That Be Your Last BattlefieldĒ style, and now his spirit is stuck here until he can get someone to take his place. Good one, Mat. Lan comes in to tell them the Fades have become desperate enough to enter the city, so now they have to deal with both them and Mordeth until they get to the river, because Trollocs and Fades canít swim. Hopefully that will make up for the mess before it.
Thereís some good stuff here, with a great piece of new backstory leading quite naturally into what promises to be a quite tense chase scene. Itís a shame that it comes with Mat losing his last shred of likability. Iím reminded of one of my major problems with Cars
, where the writers couldnít seem to grasp that thereís a difference between giving a character room to grow, and removing any reason we have to care that they grow. Mat is now The Scrappy
to me, and I can only hope that this all turns into enough of a wake-up call that he can start to become bearable again.